Citizens Corner: Meet Sri Rapaka & Bryan Vancavage
Best Buddies Citizens fosters one-to-one friendships between adults with and without IDD in corporate and civic communities. This program helps people with IDD become part of mainstream society and creates an inclusive and diverse community for all. Periodically, we will be highlighting a buddy pair that has gone above and beyond in service and friendship. This month we would like to highlight Sri Rapaka and Bryan Vancavage.
Both Sri and Bryan joined Best Buddies before they had met one another. Bryan started with Best Buddies at Paint Branch High School in 1998, and Sri joined in 1993. When the pair were matched six years ago, both took the friendship slow until they got to know each other better. Sri describes their relationship as natural, where they get together pretty regularly including an occasional overnight or weeklong trip together.
With their friendship, Bryan has gained the confidence to go out in the community and meet new people. One of his favorite memories with Sri was when the Rockville 8K was cancelled. Bryan decided to do his own race called the Bryan Vancavage 8K, the pair enjoyed the race and even got to make their own t-shirts!
Together Bryan and Sri share a love for sports, and will often go watch a game together. From baseball, basketball, hockey, to football – these two have seen it all! Their mutual love for sports has been a cornerstone in developing a lasting friendship. The friendships you form are memorable. As a peer buddy you form a friendship with somebody who truly accepts you for who you are and you learn to value the simple things in life, said Sri.
This dynamic duo recently took a trip to Disney World and their favorite part of the trip was dining in the festive atmosphere at Chef Mickeys. They got to interact with many of the characters and had a lot of fun. Its memories like this that make their friendship so special. “You can meet a lot of wonderful people and maybe you meet a buddy who is like you or not,” said Bryan when asked to share words of advice for people looking to join Best Buddies.